COACH EUGENE BAZZREA coached at Fairfield
Junior High School and Highland Springs High School
in four different decades. "Coach Bazz"
is known as a great Phys Ed teacher and exceptional
Coach for many of the Sports teams at "The Springs"
Fairfield, including Football, Baseball and Basketball.
He is respected by those that know him, then as now,
as a straight-shooter and All Around Good Guy.
Coach Bazz graciously gave an interview to The Springer
SC: Coach, where are you from originally and
where did you go to high school?
I attended Waynesboro (VA) High School, and graduated
SC: What sports did you play?
At Waynesboro High I played on the football, basketball,
and baseball teams. Baseball was where I had my most
success. As a junior in high school, I started playing
in the Valley League (baseball), mainly as a pitcher,
although I did play all 9 positions at one time or
SC: What came after you graduated from Waynesboro
After high school I attended Fishburne Military School,
and played 3 sports. My main sport was baseball.
SC: Where did you go to college?
I went to Virginia Polytechnic Institute, which is
now called Virginia Tech. I had a brief stint on the
freshman basketball team. I was a member of the elite
Marching Band. But college didn't work out at this
time, and I joined the U.S.Air Force.
SC: The Air Force?
In order to reap the benifits of the G.I. Bill. The
Korean War was going on at the time. Lucky for me
the worst was over in Korea. I served four years as
an airborne radio and ECM operator. I also served
18 months in the Far East, on the island of Formosa
SC: What did you do when you finished your
hitch in the Military?
Then came 2 years at Shenadoah Junior College, which
is now a four-year college. At Shenandoah, I was part
of the basketball and baseball teams. During my second
year at Shenadoah, besides being a student I ALSO
taught GIRLS P.E., which was quite an interesting
SC: No wonder you love coaching.
Next came Richmond Professional Institute, which,
of course, is VCU now. At RPI I was part of the basketball
and baseball teams. I was Captain of the baseball
team my senior year at RPI.
SC: And after graduation from RPI?
I continued to play some baseball in the Valley League
and worked as a claims adjuster for The Travelers
SC: When did you make the jump into teaching
and coaching for a living?
I got Married on Sunday, April 12 ,1964. My first
day teaching at Fairfield Junior High was two days
later -- April 14, 1964.
SC: So, she got you straightened out, huh,
Thus began a whole new chapter in my life.
SC: Changing focus, Coach, what are the qualities
that make a successful coach?
A good Coach is a good teacher.
I think a good coach has to learn to be himself -
not to be false, or pretend to be someone else.
You have to care about others and want to help them
succeed. They can see right through you, and when
they believe you are doing this to make them better,
they will work to get better. As they work harder,
if you work harder, you can have a great combination.
You must study the game and teach correctly, and not
settle for just getting by. And you must treat them
all the same, no matter what skill level they start
at. Respect your players for their effort, and they
will respect you.
Worry about getting better, and practice correctly,
to play better. The score will take care of itself.
Learn to control what you have contol over. And have
fun - it helps to be a kid again.
Let it be a journey of togetherness.
SC: The HSHS Cafeteria was famous for some
of the food. What do you remember most?
You could not escape that wonderful smell that led
you to the cafeteria whenever fresh rolls came out
of the oven. I would go into the kitchen and get a
couple of hot buns, with butter, as they came out.(before
My wife made me lunch that made me the envy of all
Coaches. I had to hide my lunch some days to protect
it. But on Holidays I would eat in the cafeteria.
I loved the turkey, or chicken, with mashed potatoes
and gravy, ,green beans, and hot rolls. They always
gave me extras.
The ladies of the kitchen were the greatest!
SC: Makes me hungry just thinking about it.
Thanks for all the great years, Coach Bazzrea.
Give everybody my best wishes.